The Italian architect builds an oasis in Miami Beach.
Piero Lissoni has designed everything from luxury resorts and superyachts to coffeemakers and toy cars. Now the Italian architect is trying his hand at American living with his first full-scale U.S. project, the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach (theresidencesmiamibeach.com). Set to open next year on more than 7 waterfront acres between Mid-Beach’s western bayside and Surprise Lake, Lissoni’s project departs from the high-rise mania that has taken hold in Miami Beach. Instead, the architect has created an unimposing collection of contemporary mid-rise structures; the 111 condo-style residences and 15 freestanding villas offer two to four bedrooms and are priced from $2 million to over $40 million. Light was the overarching inspiration for the interiors, with floor-to-ceiling windows, screens, and louvers fostering a dramatic play of light and shadow. Bespoke kitchens and bathrooms designed by Lissoni for Boffi (where for decades he has served as creative director) and materials like stone and wood render a quiet elegance that is rare for the local style. Ritz-Carlton has provided all of the typical perks—a pool terrace, a spa, a private marina, a fitness center—as well as one that is special to Lissoni: an art studio intended to inspire creativity in residents.